It Came from Within
Native Australian Jack Dann chimes in with his essay Antinomies that revels in literary prowess fit for a deity, which is a quite the departure from a few essays in Blackwell that fell somewhat short of the term “inspired.”
In Dann’s opening paragraph, he writes a letter to an invisible, elusive god; a letter not unlike the many that have been written by believers on the barren fields of divine presence and plagiarized spirituality. In his satiric plea for forgiveness, Dann describes his spiritual journey that traverses the “old-man-smelling synagogues,” sweat lodges, mystic meditations, consensual hallucinations, culinary inducements, and lucid dreaming that varied from ennui to epiphany.
During the course of his spiritual endeavor, Dann eventually realized that his emotional transcendence or altered-state of consciousness was not the presence of some god summoned by any of the various religious medicine men, but his search for God was actually a search for himself. Although he yearned for an intercessory god to intervene in the tragic human condition, putting hope into something that actually exists e.g., education, technology and science seemed to provide the measureable results he was divinely seeking.
Prayers, spells, and supplications based on irrational hope and wishful thinking left Dann with a sense of insecurity. Superstitious belief in a god for his spirituality was a leap of faith he was no longer willing to make.
So, in an act of insolence and renewed faith in reality— tongue planted firmly in his cheek—he commits his demons, ghosts, angels, and hobgoblins to the flames of his psyche, and offers up an atheist prayer of rationality—solemnly planting his supplications in more fertile ground.